COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A mediator ordered Gahanna-Jefferson officials and the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Association, the union representing the teachers, to meet Wednesday in hopes of putting an end to the teacher strike.
Negotiations began at 2 p.m. and it’s the first time the two sides met since Monday.
“It is our intention to provide a proposal that addresses the concerns raised by GJEA related to instruction as we work toward resolution,” the district said in a statement to NBC4.
GJEA spokesperson Betsy Baker heard very encouraging news about the plan from their union.
“They said again they’re ready,” Baker said. “They think they have a proposal that could be the agreement that could be the answer to everything.”
Some students and parents took a big step by joining the teachers on the picket line, trying to form unity in the community.
“Besides just the teachers, the superintendent, and the board becoming divided, our community is becoming divided,” said parent Melissa White. “There’s hate being spewed. People not understanding both sides.”
Jason Raymond is the student council president and said he’s frustrated with the district and feels the teachers are being ignored.
“Maybe if it was just a few teachers it would be a different story, but it’s everyone,” Raymond said.
Raymond said he and his fellow classmates trust the teachers have their best interests at heart.
“If you’re going to go by ‘One pride, one family,’ if you’re going to go by that, abide by it. Practice what you preach,” he said. “Let it be ‘One pride, one family’ because right now this is a divide.”